In an era when our land was rife with war and tension, captain Ram Singh Thakuri united 1.3 billion Indians to the sound of music. While many might not recall his name, his spirit has been kept alive in our hearts through his songs of valour, which resonate across the country even today.
Captain Thakuri joined the army in 1927 at the Dharamsala cantonment. Having been posted to Singapore, he was taken in as a prisoner of war in 1942. But even then, he was one of the few people who were able to evade the clutches of torture, as the captivators would call him on for his charming musical abilities.
He joined Subhash Chandra Bose’s newly formed Indian National Army (INA) during that time, where his skills were employed to compose tunes that would inspire the spirit of patriotism. In his brief, Bose said to him, “The song should have such an indelible impact and force that the Cathay Building should ‘break’ into two parts and the sky should become visible.”
Under this command, Captain Thakuri composed the Qaumi Tarana, which would go on to become the anthem of the INA. Sung by 30 lakh Indians at that time, its impact echoed vibrations of inspiration.
The army man and musician was the one to give the lyrics and music for the famous song ‘Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja’. He also composed the beat behind the country’s national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ which was written by Rabindranath Tagore.
Captain Thakuri was awarded the title of ‘Emeritus Musician’ by the Uttar Pradesh government in 1947. This would go on to be only one of the many awards to be bestowed upon the spirited composer.
Read more about the captain who gifted the country with evergreen songs of nationalism: